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Is it legal/illegal for a teacher to access a student's Facebook messages?

They went through her private messages in her Facebook. NOT public posts.

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Was somebody bad mouthing the teacher & now their looking to get her into trouble ? Depending on the situation it may be illegal but I doubt there would be a large fine or jail time.

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They were either looking over her shoulder when she was messaging someone, which she doesn't usually do unless in the hallway, where at my school is fine. Or the notification popped up on her iPad screen. A friend was joking with her. Then they took and possibly looked through her inbox with her iPad.
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Sorry , you have no base for an investigation. All you have are accusations & no proof she actually read the messages. Furthermore, since there is no damage to the "damaged" party then nothing has to be done. Did your friend get expelled or has your teacher posted all her message on the net. No harm no fowl. Let it ride
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The point is whatever was in her messages, even though they were all jokes, are going to made a big deal of by the teachers. They're going to question her about it, and it would be absolutely silly for her to get in trouble over jokes.
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It is legal. But if they don't have a reason to go through it, then they shouldn't. Period.

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They were either looking over her shoulder when she was messaging someone, which she doesn't usually do unless in the hallway, where at my school is fine. Or the notification popped up on her iPad screen. A friend was joking with her. Then they took and possibly looked through her inbox with her iPad. Their only "reason" being they saw a joke.
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I don't think so but that would be kinda creepy!

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Well how did they access it, if it wasn't public?

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They took her iPad, and they went through her inbox.
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An opportunity to learn a lesson ...

1 - Never use things you aren't supposed to, during class.
2 - Always password protect your login.
3 - Never write down anything you don't want anyone else to see.
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I know that. But she obviously didn't. I'm assuming she was on it in the hallways or at the end of the day. (Both of which are perfectly fine at our school. Also, I'm assuming it was the end of the day because she said she walked straight home afterward.)
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I think that's and invasion of a minor's personal privacy and is illegal.

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In America ... minors in school have NO "expectation of privacy", per multiple court rulings.
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It might be legal but, of course, it's illegal with sexually explicit content, threats, etc. received or exchanged.

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only if he/she is ur fb teacher (legal)

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candybar

Yes. As well as potential employers.

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It is an invasion of privacy by an outside party. [[[[BUT]]]] If she was on school computers sending messages, they do have the right to retrieve all traffic sent through THEIR machines. If they took her phone or laptop and went through it, then yes, it is an unwarranted invasion of privacy from an outside party, unless she said it was okay for them to look through it. Another grey area is if she was on school wifi, they have the right to monitor all traffic on their network.

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They looked through her iPad. .-.
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If they said, "Can I go through your ipad" and she said yes, she allowed them. If they took it away from her because she has it out in class, then went through it, you have to look into the school's search and seizure policies. Personally, I would raise hell. I'm of the mind that if I'm the one that bought it, it's mine and I'm just letting my kid borrow it and I would raise a hell that someone at the school went through it, saying I have private and personal information on it and they had no right by me to go through it. But again, if the school has a search and seizure policy covering electronic devices, they may have the right to do so since it was on school property.
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Actually ... per multiple court rulings in America, students have NO "expectation of privacy" on school grounds. They don't even have to ask permission to look through anything the student brings on the school property.
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It seems a few schools have gotten in trouble for going through a student's personal things though.
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Not in the courts ... maybe in "public opinion", but that carries no legal weight.
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Invasion of privacy

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Sweet, if you put it on the Internet it's there for EVERYBODY to see although, to be honest, I don't know why she'd even be interested.

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It's her inbox. You can't just look through somebody's inbox. That's not public.
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If it's a private in box, and if it's password protected as it should be, how does the teacher access it? If it's on a school computer I'd say she has every right.
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